Thursday, August 29, 2013

Good Riddance

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday defended her decision to allow so-called Dreamers a chance to obtain legal status to stay in the United States and blamed Congress for failing to act on immigration reform.  ~ Politico

Napolitano went on to say:

“Congress had a chance to give these so-called Dreamers a way to stay in our country through the DREAM Act, but unfortunately, that legislation failed to garner the 60 votes needed for cloture, falling just five votes short, despite strong bipartisan support.”

So our laws are determined not by the people, but by a two-bit appointed political hack.


So dumbass... please explain how losing by five votes is a failure to act?  It sounds like congress did indeed act, held a cloture vote, and you lost. A more accurate statement would be congress failed to act the way you wanted them to.  Perhaps a reminder is due...

Article 6, Clause 3:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

"I, _______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."  

Well and Faithfully Discharging Duties

So how is refusing to enforce the existing laws passed by congress well and faithfully discharging your duties? 

In the context of constitutional law, Article II, Section 4 grants congress the power to impeach "The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors."  It is firmly established that cabinet officers are "civil officers of the United States", Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached.

The Supreme Court has held that such phrases as "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" must be construed not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers meant when they adopted them.  The framers knew full well what "high crimes and misdemeanors" meant and the article passed with little discussion or debate.  To the framers the term had the same meaning as it held in English Common Law.  High Crimes are not serious crimes, but crimes committed by public officials, a citizen cannot commit high crimes unless holding public office.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors in English Common Law

Since 1386, the English parliament had used “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the grounds to impeach officials of the crown. Officials accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors” were accused of offenses as varied as misappropriating government funds, appointing unfit subordinates, not prosecuting cases, not spending money allocated by Parliament, promoting themselves ahead of more deserving candidates, threatening a grand jury, disobeying an order from Parliament, arresting a man to keep him from running for Parliament, losing a ship by neglecting to moor it, helping “suppress petitions to the King to call a Parliament,” granting warrants without cause, and bribery. Some of these charges were crimes. Others were not. The one common denominator in all these accusations was that the official had somehow abused the power of his office and was unfit to serve. ~ CRF


Congress needs to grow a set

If the legislatures of the United States wishes to see its legislation not only enacted but enforced,  it needs to take action  when it is not.  We know that that the Republican controlled House of Representatives could conceivably impeach Napolitano, we all also know that the Democratic controlled Senate of the United States is not going to convict Janet Napolitano, not on the grounds of guilt or innocence, but solely for political and party reasons.  


The law is the law,  it is not what we want it to be but what is legislated and written down,  and if you don't like what is written down there are processes to change it.  When you lack the political capacity to change it,  you are stuck with it.  The intent of the law of the United States is the will of the people, not the power of the executive,  and until Congress grows a set it and enforces its will, it will continue to be treated as a bath mat by the executive branch.


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